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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:14 PM

 

Water quality of NY's Lake George to be studied, improved with new partnership

BOLTON LANDING, NY, June 27, 2013 -- A three-year, multi-million dollar partnership called "The Jefferson Project at Lake George" has been established to understand and manage threats -- from road salt to weather to invasive species -- facing New York's Lake George, one of the world's most pristine natural ecosystems and an economic cornerstone of the state's tourism industry.

The partners include the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM, and The FUND. They expect this world-class scientific and technology facility at Lake George will create a new model for predictive preservation and remediation of critical natural systems on Lake George, in New York, and ultimately around the world.

The Jefferson Project, an homage to President Thomas Jefferson's declaration of Lake George as "without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw," will establish the world’s most sophisticated lake environmental monitoring and prediction system giving scientists and the community a real-time picture of the health of the lake. Lake George is a headwaters lake, meaning it has limited external influences on water quality which has led to its "Class AA-Special" water quality rating from New York. Lake George is an ideal body of water to study due to its size and unique ecosystem. Approximately 95 percent of the land surrounding Lake George remains as natural forestland, 46 percent of which is "forever wild" state-owned forest preserve.

With financial support from the FUND for Lake George, scientists from Rensselaer have been studying the Lake for 30 years and have noted the emergence of environmental stressors that include rising levels of chlorophyll that threatens water clarity and a three-fold increase in salt levels due primarily to road salt applied to roads in the watershed. Lake George tourism alone accounts for an estimated $450 million of economic activity in Warren County and approximately $1 billion in the surrounding region. The long term health of the Lake is critical to the region and New York State’s tourism industry.

Read more at http://www.waterworld.com/articles/2013/06/new-partnership-to-make-ny-s-lake-george-smartest-lake-in-the-world.html

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